Pasta with Summer Corn, Slow-Cooked Tomatoes, and Garlic Confit

July  2, 2014

When she has the kitchen all to herself, Phyllis Grant of Dash and Bella cooks beautiful iterations of what solo meals were always meant to be: exactly what you want, when and where you want them.

Today: Of slow-cooked tomatoes and simple summer pastas and job descriptions. 

Pasta with corn and tomatoes

Shop the Story

Four days into sports camp and Dash is toast.

Mom. I can’t go. You don’t stop moving the entire day. It’s crazy. You go from soccer to rugby to basketball to art class to some class called "fun" where you make up games and then back to soccer again and oh my god I can barely breathe please don’t make me go again because I just might die.

I consider yanking my tired dude over to the sofa, cradling him in my arms, settling in for some World Cup. And then I remember. It’s not supposed to be easy.

My job is to throw my arms around his waist before he flies out in front of a car. To catch him as he is about to fall out of the window. To dig the half-eaten mushroom out of his gums and rush him to the hospital.

Dash, would you like a hot dog or a ham sandwich in your lunch?

He sits down on the kitchen floor and tries to tie his shoes. He gives up.

To keep him from cutting off his fingertips. To keep him from breaking an arm. To keep him from getting burned.

Dash? Lunch? Any thoughts?

He is now on his back, waving his limbs like he's making a snow angel.

Lunch, mom? You're asking me about lunch? I’m not going to camp.

To be consistent.

I’m making you a hot dog. 


Too late. It's already in the pan.

Pasta with corn and tomatoes

To fill his belly with food. Food we’re supposed to eat. Food we’re not supposed to eat.

Mom. Do you know what your job is?

Nope. Tell me.

To be mean.

To keep placing the food in front of him that I like. That he likes. That he hates.

That night at dinner, I consider setting him straight. I hold back, internally mumbling, show don’t tell, show don’t tell, show don’t tell.

To help him understand the capacity of the heart. The spilling-over hugeness.

We sit side by side, slurping down bowls of pasta. Mine packed with summer corn, slow-cooked tomatoes, and garlic confit; his coated simply in butter, salt, and cheese.

Pasta with tomatoes and corn

Pasta with Corn, Slow-Cooked Tomatoes, and Garlic Confit 

Serves 4

12 cloves garlic, unpeeled (for the garlic confit)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 pints cherry tomatoes (any size, color, or shape)
1 tablespoon garlic oil (from the pot of garlic confit)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
6 sprigs fresh herbs (any combination of thyme, rosemary, tarragon, or sage)
3 ears yellow or white corn
1 pound pasta
1 teaspoon kosher salt
5 tablespoons garlic oil (again, from the garlic confit)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup parsley leaves 

See the full recipe (and save it and print it) here.

Photos by Phyllis Grant

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Merrill Stubbs
    Merrill Stubbs
  • Posie (Harwood) Brien
    Posie (Harwood) Brien
Phyllis Grant is an IACP finalist for Personal Essays/Memoir Writing and a three-time Saveur Food Blog Awards finalist for her blog, Dash and Bella. Her essays and recipes have been published in a dozen anthologies and cookbooks including Best Food Writing 2015 and 2016. Her work has been featured both in print and online for various outlets, including Oprah, The New York Times, Food52, Saveur, The Huffington Post, Time Magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle, Tasting Table and Salon. Her memoir with recipes, Everything Is Out of Control, is coming out April 2020 from Farrar Straus & Giroux. She lives in Berkeley, California with her husband and two children.


Merrill S. July 28, 2014
This has already become a household favorite!
Posie (. July 2, 2014
reading this totally made my day -- and now I know what I am having for dinner!